Taking Part in Ontario’s Rapid Antigen Testing Program

Please see the letter below from Region of Waterloo Public Health.  For any questions about this program, please contact them directly at 519-575-4400. 

Parents and families,

To help re-open Blessed Sacrament Catholic Elementary School safely on December 6, 2021, Public Health is recommending that your school take part in the Rapid Antigen Screening program. This program helps prevent spread in schools and lets you know if your child has COVID-19.

What is a rapid antigen test?
A rapid antigen test is done at home with a swab in the nose. It takes less than 30 minutes to test and get results. Instructions (written and video) on how to do the rapid antigen test are on Public Health’s website: www.regionofwaterloo.ca/COVID19RapidTest
• Videos: https://bit.ly/rapidresponsetesting and https://bit.ly/takehometesting

Who is this program for?
It is your choice if your child takes part in the testing program. Students who are unvaccinated, do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and are not currently isolating as a high-risk contact can be tested. Students who recently recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days are not eligible for this program and should not participate in rapid testing until 90 days after infection.

How do I pick up the testing kit?
Your school will let you know how and when to pick up the testing kit. (Please see email sent out on December 1st)

When do I test my child?
Test your child prior to going to school as follows:
Week 1 – Monday, December 6th; Wednesday, December 8th; Friday, December 10th
Week 2 – Tuesday, December 14th; Thursday, December 16th

How do I report the results?
Parents must report all test results using the following link https://my.thrive.health/ on a mobile device or desktop and using code: ROWPHE-BSCES2021. Parents who choose not to use the Thrive Health link must call 519-575-4400 ext. 5990 to report results including your child name, grade, date and time of test and result

What do I do if the results are positive or negative?
Children who test negative can go to school. Daily COVID-19 screening: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ is still required.

Children who test positive:
• Need a PCR COVID-19 test: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations.
• Isolate until the PCR COVID-19 results come back
o If the PCR test is negative, children can return to school
o If the PCR test is positive, continue to isolate and Public Health will be in touch with instructions

Thank you for helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For questions, contact Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400.

 

By |2021-12-02T10:29:19-05:00December 2nd, 2021|News|Comments Off on Taking Part in Ontario’s Rapid Antigen Testing Program

IMPORTANT!! Vaccine Information Session for Parents/Guardians of Children (5-11)

   

IMPORTANT!! Vaccine Information Session for Parents/Guardians of Children (5-11)

Vaccine Information Session for Parents/Guardians of Children (5-11)

Presenter: Dr. Kelly Grindrod, Associate Professor from the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy

Date: December 2, 2021

Time: 7- 8:30 p.m.

Zoom Meeting Link

There will be an opportunity to ask questions following the presentation.

 

Vaccines are an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and allow families to safely resume normal activities.

 

Although children and youth are less likely to get very sick from COVID-19 they can still:
  • Get sick from COVID-19
  • Be infected and not have any symptoms
  • Spread COVID-19 to others
  • Experience longer-term effects if they do get infected
COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada are safe, reliable, and can help protect you, your family, and our community from COVID-19. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines.

 

This webpage will be updated when additional information about COVID-19 vaccines for children becomes available.

Can my child get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Children born in 2016 or earlier are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Find information about how to get a vaccine.

A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination (available in 13 languages)

 
By |2021-11-30T09:04:01-05:00November 30th, 2021|News|Comments Off on IMPORTANT!! Vaccine Information Session for Parents/Guardians of Children (5-11)

Fall Update from Director Notten

            Nov 22nd, 2021

Dear WCDSB Community,

We hope that you continue to be well and that you have had a healthy and enjoyable fall season.  We are pleased that, for the most part, our schools continue to be safe and healthy places for learning to prosper.  We have not been without our challenges this fall, but with a few exceptions, our COVID-19 case counts have remained quite low and we are so grateful to both our staff and our families for working hard to follow all the necessary guidelines and precautions.

This letter once again brings a few very important updates of which we would like you to be aware as they are important to your understanding as to how things are unfolding and precautions we wish to continue to enforce, so that we may continue on a safe, healthy and positive path as a community.

Vaccination

As you have no doubt heard in the media, vaccination for children ages 5-11 is now ready to be rolled out in the province and within Waterloo Region.  The Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Province and local Public Health offer us the guidance, as the experts, that this is our best defence against COVID-19.  It will assist in keeping our children healthy, as well as all those with whom they have contact.  Vaccinations will be available at Public Health vaccination sites, community hubs, local pharmacies and at a few school pop-up sites (of which you will be informed when they are occurring).  A parent’s approval will be required for any child 5-11 to be vaccinated and any school-based sites will happen after hours.  Parents can begin making appointments as of today.

As a parent you may have questions about the vaccine for children 5-11 year olds.  Our local Public Health Unit is sponsoring a virtual parent information session, via Zoom, on Thursday Dec 2nd, from 7 – 8:30 p.m.  The presentation, along with a question-and-answer session, will be given by Dr. Kelly Grindrod, Ontario College of Pharmacists Professor in Pharmacy Innovation and Associate Professor, University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy.  We would encourage any parent who still has questions about the vaccine to attend this session.

Rapid Antigen Testing for Students over Christmas Break

On November 18th, the provincial government announced that over the Christmas Break rapid antigen screen kits will be provided to any and all students who wish to take home 5 tests to be administered every few days between Dec 23rd and Jan 4th, so that we are better assured a safe and healthy return to school in January 2022, and a safer, healthier coming together with Friends and Family over the Christmas Season.

Sports / Athletics

As reported in previous letters, we have been pleased to see the return of athletics and sport to our schools and for inter-scholastic play to have returned for those age 12 and older.  The criteria to play is full vaccination and/or proof of a negative test.  This strategy is being used in a very targeted way for students who are not able to use our other usual strategies to ensure their safety – that is – they are unable to ensure masking and social distancing.  This strategy has now been endorsed by the province and will now continue for the foreseeable future for us at WCDSB.  We are extremely pleased by this decision.

Additional Health and Safety Measures

Also part of the November 19th announcement was the direction that all Parent-Teacher interviews should take place virtually (or by phone).  Similarly, schools are asked to ensure that assemblies occur virtually to ensure cohorts are not blending and social distancing is maintained.

Secondary Delivery Model

The province has opened the door to the second half of the year being delivered through a proper semestered model – which is 4 periods or 4 75 minute classes in a day.  This decision will have to be supported by Public Health based on cases and other relevant data.  At the current time we are hopeful that we will be in a position to return to a semestered/4 period day in February.

 Potential Travel

A reminder that students under 12, travelling with vaccinated parents do not have to quarantine per se, but they are not allowed to return to school until 14 days from return have passed.  This guidance is found on our webpage.  This is federal policy we are sharing.

https://www.wcdsb.ca/covid-19-student-screening-and-testing/

Screening

As we have shared before, please know that one of the most important things you do each and every day is to complete the screening tool before you as a staff member or student (or parent of a student) arrive at school.  Any individual who fails the screener or who is symptomatic in any way should not be reporting to school.  That is part of our collective responsibility to one another.

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

Please review our full Operational Guidelines to ensure you understand how we are continuing to ensure a safe and happy school experience for all.

We continue to be exceptionally grateful for your support and partnership as we navigate this unique year.

Sincerely

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

By |2021-11-23T10:54:16-05:00November 23rd, 2021|News|Comments Off on Fall Update from Director Notten

Taking Part in Ontario’s Rapid Antigen Testing Program

   Parents and families,

Public Health is recommending that your school take part in the Rapid Antigen Testing program because of the number of classes that are isolating. This program is being offered to help keep schools open, prevent spread in schools and let you know if your child has COVID-19 (Test-to-Stay program).

What is a rapid antigen test?

A rapid antigen test is done at home with a swab in the nose. It takes less than 30 minutes to test and get results. Instructions (written and video) on how to do the rapid antigen test are on Public Health’s website: www.regionofwaterloo.ca/COVID19RapidTest

Who is this program for?

It is your choice if your child takes part in the testing program. Students who are unvaccinated, do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and are not high-risk contacts can be tested. This test is not for students who are currently in isolation. For the school to stay open, we need as many families as possible to take part in the testing program.

How do I pick up the testing kit?

Please come to school anytime after 9:30 a.m. up until 3:30 p.m.  Please ensure you are wearing a mask, and buzz the office.  A test kit will be brought to you outside.

When do I test my child?

Test your unvaccinated child every other school day for two weeks:

  • Week 1 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Week 2 – Tuesday, Thursday

OR

  • Week 1 – Tuesday, Thursday, Week 2 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday

How do I report the results?

Parents must report all test results using the Thrive App. Download the free app and use this code for reporting: ROWPHE-BSCES2021. Instructions on how to use the Thrive App are on Public Health’s website: www.regionofwaterloo.ca/COVID19RapidTest. Parents who choose not to use the Thrive App must call 519-575-4400 ext. 5990 to report results.

What do I do if the results are positive or negative?

Children who test negative can go to school. Daily COVID-19 screening: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ is still required.

Children who test positive:

    • If the PCR test is negative, children can return to school
    • If the PCR test is positive, continue to isolate and Public Health will be in touch with instructions

Thank you for helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For questions, contact Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400.

By |2021-11-24T14:30:43-05:00November 22nd, 2021|News|Comments Off on Taking Part in Ontario’s Rapid Antigen Testing Program

CoVid-19 Outbreak Declared by WRPH

   A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Blessed Sacrament School as an additional case has been reported from the same cohort as the previous confirmed case.  No additional classrooms or cohorts will be dismissed.  No further action is required for the current classrooms that have been dismissed. Blessed Sacrament is working with Region of Waterloo Public Health to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in students, staff and the community.

By |2021-11-21T18:11:37-05:00November 21st, 2021|News|Comments Off on CoVid-19 Outbreak Declared by WRPH

Positive Case of CoVid 19 Today

A case of COVID-19 has been identified at Blessed Sacrament School.

 What does this mean for Children/Students?

  • The school has dismissed the entire cohort(s) who had exposure to the COVID Case regardless of the vaccination status.
  • Public Health will work with the school to identify high-risk student and staff contacts of the confirmed case.
  • Children/Students who have been identified as high-risk contacts of a confirmed case have been sent a letter by the school with specific information on dates of exposure, testing information, and the cohort end of isolation date.
  • High risk contacts will be followed up via text and phone, to provide specific directions related to the need for the student to self-isolate and self-monitor, as well as provide testing information and return to school guidance.
  • Children/Students who are low risk contacts (have NOT been identified as high risk  contacts) of a confirmed case will not be contacted and are not required to self-isolate and should self-monitor for symptoms
  • If additional cohorts must self-isolate or the school must close, you will be notified by the school. The school will keep you informed about any plans regarding return to school.
    • Schools: The term cohort includes children/students and staff in the same class, children/students involved in group activities or who have been in shared spaces during school, students that ride the same bus, attend before/after school care, or participate in extracurricular programming together.
  • Continue to monitor and screen your child for symptoms of COVID-19 daily.

What is COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans
  • COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to fever, cough, trouble breathing, and loss of taste/smell. A list of symptoms, including atypical signs and symptoms, can be also be found in the COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website
  • People may be able to pass COVID-19 to others from 48 hours before symptoms begin to 10 days after the start of symptoms

 What is a Variant of Concern (VOC)?

  • Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and persist. For COVID-19, variants of concern (VOC) are those that may spread more easily, cause more severe illness or the vaccine may not be as effective against.
  • In response to the evolving situation related to VOCs, Region of Waterloo Public Health has initiated enhanced Contact Management for all COVID-19 cases in an effort to prevent the spread. This means that we use a lower risk threshold to identify contacts and initiate contact tracing early while test results may be pending.

Additional COVID-19 resources can be found on Region of Waterloo Public Health’s COVID-19 webpage at http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/COVID19.

 

By |2021-11-19T17:12:15-05:00November 19th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Positive Case of CoVid 19 Today

Co-Vid Outbreak declared by Public Health

A second COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Blessed Sacrament as an additional case has been reported from the same cohort as the previous confirmed cases.  No additional classrooms or cohorts will be dismissed.  No further action is required for the current classroom that has been dismissed. Blessed Sacrament School is working with Region of Waterloo Public Health to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in students, staff and the community.

By |2021-11-19T11:58:19-05:00November 19th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Co-Vid Outbreak declared by Public Health

Additional CoVid Cases

On Thursday November 18th, additional COVID-19 cases have been reported from Public Health, one in each of the previously dismissed cohorts.  No additional classrooms or cohorts will be dismissed.  If not already received, the current cohorts that have been dismissed should look for communication this weekend from Public Health for more information. Blessed Sacrament School is working with the Region of Waterloo Public Health to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in students, staff and the community.

By |2021-11-18T20:35:19-05:00November 18th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Additional CoVid Cases
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